Tuesday, 20 October 2009

I confess x 7

Many thanks to my supportive and generous blogging chum little augury for nominating me as one of her seven 'Kreatives'. This chain reaction in our galaxy of the blog universe is about to go critical as we all cite each other. Just as I was about to nominate The Blue Remembered Hills, Blue asked if he could nominate me. ahhh. For this reason, and being the killjoy I tend to be, I am only playing half the game by not passing on the baton. Meanwhile, I've been scratching my head to find the seven least incriminating things to say about myself.

I keep buying classical white china urns on ebay. And had an expensive Fornasetti habit.

I once said to the Duke of Edinburgh ‘Sir, you must have the most superb upper body strength.’

I have a hideously addictive personality and have wasted many hours of my life playing computer games. I once made a list of ‘A Hundred Better Things to Do Than Play Snood’. I badly need to do that again.

My style icon remains Jacqueline Kennedy (as opposed to Jackie O) since I like structure.

I like cryptic crosswords
My favourite clue was HI JKLMNO (5 ) the answer being water (H20)
I’m probably a bit of a smartass.

Before I was married I worked in the English law courts as a shorthand writer (stenographer)
My worst moment was having to read back all the evidence of a young woman who had been sexually assaulted by her employer, an elderly optician. It was deeply embarrassing.

I tend to feel very uncomfortable around diagonal stripes. Love diamonds and trellis work.

Thursday, 15 October 2009


Oh I spoke too soon. My last post mentioned convalescence and now I have had to take to my bed all this week with something approaching flu. The Swine Flu hotline told me in so many words to 'Stop making such a fuss and drink plenty'. I wish I could have languished in bed so stylishly but sadly the reality is more like this:

top: Image courtesy Slim Aarons' book Once Upon A Time

below: ©Rosie West

Friday, 9 October 2009

Why do I love this bedroom?

With each new edition of World of Interiors, I greedily turn the pages and end up feeling almost queasy from its rich array of visual delights. I regard the magazine as a dreamspace but sometimes it just does my head in. ‘ I want that, I’ll copy that, I’ll save up, I’ll buy a new house! An empty canvas to have my wicked way with.’

Today, the pepto-bismol pink of an armchair in a rigorously understated bedroom soothed my heartburn. I savour this bedroom in the Saarinen House on the Cranbook Campus in Michigan and I have had to analyse why.

It can be a spur to creativity to write down everything you love about an image, any image, and thus capture the elements you could make your own.

The first thing I love here is the dove grey paint on the walls, closet and beds. I use this a lot myself for its elegance, restraint and, actually, warmth. Unfortunately there’s not much restraint in my house so Finnish architect Elias Saarinen plays to my inner minimalist. I could never maintain the discipline of this room (let’s not talk about the single beds) but it resonates for me with a strange sense of comfort. Does it look like a sick-room, a place of convalescence to you? I think that’s it! I can hear the rustle of a nurse’s starched cambric dress, imagine the freshly made lemonade by the bedside, see my mother sitting on that armchair in a state of gentle concern.

To put it more formally the blend of Arts and Crafts, which was Saarinen’s background (the light fitting, the craftsmanship) and early 20th Century modernism
is for me a perfect blend of styles. There is a northern (Scandinavian) aesthetic here that reminds me of Swedish illustrator Carl Larssen’s family house and good manners, good housekeeping, stability. Well, perhaps those are the things I can take away from this image today?

To visit Saarinen House, ring 001 248 645 3300 or visit the website here

Image from World of Interiors November 2009

Friday, 2 October 2009

Five Minutes of Fame In The Background

About 18 months ago I worked on a film called The Other Man
starring Liam Neeson, Antonio Banderas and Laura Linney as a shoe designer. I provided lots of shoe drawings and sketchbooks for the set dressing. I wrote about it here a while ago, wondering if the film would hit the big screen. Now it has, phew!

I have gone over all images I could find of the film with a microscope and found evidence that I wasn't consigned to the cutting room floor after all. Don't laugh, here they are:

The Shoe Shop wallpaper!

Artwork © Rosie West 2009
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